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Top cop, senior prosecutor in court over corruption

Deputy director for the police CID commercial crimes unit Assistant Commissioner Obeylaw Moyo and chief public prosecutor Clement Chimbare appeared in court on allegations of abuse of office and bribery over their handling of the illegal sale of stands in Kuwadzana in a US$1 million scam.
It was reported that the two and three other junior police officers were paid off for not arresting or not charging suspected kingpins in the scam by being allocated stands in the new middle-income Harare suburb of Westlea
Last night, police sources said City of Harare director of housing Admore Nhekairo had also been arrested in connection with the case, and would appear in court today.
He allegedly approved the allocation of the Westlea stands.
Asst Comm Moyo (47) and chief public prosecutor Chimbare (47) were arrested on Wednesday and spent the night in police cells with two junior police officers, Detective Assistant Inspector Claudious Majonga (37) and Detective Constable Aaron Karuru (32). A third junior officer is on the run.
The four appeared before Harare Magistrate Ngoni Nduna facing charges of criminal abuse of office as public officers or bribery as defined in the codified criminal law.
They were remanded out of custody to August 17 on $3 000 bail each with the usual reporting, residence and passport surrender conditions.
Mr Charles Muchemwa appeared for the State.
The complainant in the case is the City of Harare, represented by chief security officer Mr Collen Tongowona.
Allegations are that sometime in September last year, Harare municipality through Town Clerk Engineer Hosiah Chisango reported a case of suspected fraud in which Edgar Dzehonye, Mathew Marara, Rudo Chigocha, Believer Mpawaenda and Margeth Geroge were the accused persons.
The fraud arose from the alleged creation and sale of 150 stands corruptly sold by Dzehonye, Marara and other accomplices in Kuwadzana 3, 4, and 5 to home-seekers without the knowledge or approval of council.
It is alleged that the reports filed were investigated by the two junior arrested police officers, Majonga and Karuru, under the supervision of Asst Comm Moyo, Naboth Nyachega (rank not given) and Joseph Mutipforo (rank not given).
The investigations led to the arrest of Tapiwa Gona, Rudo Chigocha, Believer Mpawaenda and Margeth George who then appeared in court after the required paperwork was vetted by chief prosecutor Chimbare at the Harare Magistrates Courts.
On February 4 this year, the four police officers in the direct investigation — Majonga, Karuru, Nyachega and Mutipforo — also arrested Dzehonye and Marara who appeared in court the following day.
Their docket was again vetted by chief prosecutor Chimbare, who allegedly corruptly ordered the release of Dzehonye and Marara and advised the State to proceed by way of summons as there were several others facing the same charges.
According to the State, this was despite the fact that the other four suspects had already appeared in court on the same charges and had been formally remanded, although released on $1 000 bail each.
Investigations carried out revealed that after the case of Dzehonye and Marara was ordered to proceed by way of summons, on March 19, Moyo, Majonga, Karuru and another unnamed suspect who is still on the run, in a bid to jeopardise investigations and prosecution of the two, corruptly received waiting list numbers belonging to other home-seekers and were selected for consideration of unserviced residential stands in Westlea Township.
Moyo was allocated stand number 11450, Majonga 11449, Karuru 11448 and Chimbare 11437. The total intrinsic value of the stands was then $219 938. The stands were allocated on the same date and at the same place which rules out the possibility of a coincidence, the court heard.
The allocation letters dated March 19, 2020, were corruptly signed by Dzehonye, who after being summoned to the CID Commercial Crimes on criminal charges, was only made to sign a warned and caution statement and was released without going to court.
The court also heard that the allocation letters were counter signed by Admore Nhekairo.
It is alleged that in a bid to cover the offence, Dzehonye, Marara and Nhekairo corruptly manipulated council systems and policies to accommodate the four who had been unlawfully and corruptly allocated residential stands in Westlea.
Marara is also alleged to have corruptly terminated the contract of Head of Public Safety Negion Moyo who was representing City of Harare in Kuwadzana and also a key witness, in a bid to obstruct or defeat the course of justice.
On June 30, when Moyo, Majonga and Karuru learnt that they were being investigated by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, they then rushed to arrest Dzehonye and Marara before they appeared in court.
Chimbare is alleged to have acted in contrary and inconsistent with his duties as the chief law officer in charge of prosecution at the Harare Provincial Magistrate Court by showing favour to Dzehonye and Marara by refusing to place them on remand, yet their other accomplices had been placed on remand on a similar offence.
In return of the favour, Chimbare accepted the stand in Westlea.
Mr Jonathan Samukange represented Moyo while Mr Tafadzwa Hungwe represented Majonga and Karuru. Chimbare was represented by Mr Webster Jiti.

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